Soldiers with the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade mobility section and the 258th Movement Control Team, Division Sustainment Troops Battalion, 3 DSB, conducted port to fort operations May 6th through May 20th at the Joint Base Charleston Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, South Carolina and the Fort Stewart, Georgia rail marshalling area.
The operation focused on the return of the DSTB and 414th Signal Company, DSTB equipment from the Central Command area of operations following the unit’s nine-month deployment providing logistic oversight for the region.
“Currently, we’re conducting port operations in support of the redeployment operations for CENTCOM AoR of moving equipment and making sure we’re collaborating with 841st Transportation Battalion to ensure efficiency, making sure we’re meeting the commander’s intent and building combat power,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Coleman, the 3rd DSB mobility officer. ““The good thing about it though is it’s not a difficult issue when the commander lays out the commander’s intent. When it’s very clear, you have the guidance and you’re synchronized with working with your S3 operations and understanding operations drives logistics, it’s not difficult.”
To ensure the success of the mission, the DSB Mobility team began planning efforts in early April with the 841st, who conduct surface deployment and redeployment operations and water terminal operations to support and sustain the warfighter.
“In order to conduct this operation we had to make sure we had synchronization and that involves a lot of communication as far as the commander and also from the support enablers as far as 841st to ensure we’re meeting the timeline so Soldiers could be able to have their equipment, be able to take ownership of their equipment and then to be ready to prepare, train and fight,” said Coleman. “The way we were able to do this is we had to make sure that we continued planning efforts and planning working groups to make sure we are all synchronized with the plan/timeline.”
Another key for the operation’s success was the addition of the 258th MCT to the enablers. The 258th is comprised of transportation management coordinators (88Ns) responsible for overseeing and facilitating the movement of personnel and cargo by air, sea and land.
“88N’s are involved with the staging of equipment once it comes off the boat,” said Staff Sgt. Destiny Crews, the noncommissioned officer in charge for the DSB mobility section. “They’re involved with the assessment of all the equipment whether it’s damaged or things we need to send to G8 so we can get our equipment back to the ready and our combat power back to 100 percent. 88N’s are critical in just making sure that we keep full accountability of all of our stuff from port to port.”
The operation gave the MCT, who’s mission typically sees them supporting air operations at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, an opportunity to conduct a mission outside of their normal scope.
“This is very unique for our unit specifically,” said 2nd Lt. Colin Lynch, a movement officer with 258th MCT. “For a movement control team in general this may not be so unique, but for our unit specifically it’s unique. We focus heavily on air operations at the ADACG (Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group). We sprinkle in a little line haul and rail ops through the RMA and the ADACG as well, but we rarely get to do port operations however we recognize that if we’re deployed then port operations will be part of our mission. So this is a unique experience but very important so that we can be prepared in an event that we deploy we may have to use a port operation.”
In addition to incorporating the movement control team to oversee and coordinate the download of equipment, each unit with equipment provided a unit movement officer tasked with accounting for their unit’s equipment.
“As UMO, usually I keep the company’s equipment in my best interest, maintain bumper numbers, TCNs (control number for the vehicle) and make sure this equipment is continuously in visibility so it’s not forgotten that we can track it all the way back to our home station,” said 1st Lt. Rucker Pierce, the UMO and executive officer for 414th. “Overall this has been a good exciting experience. It’s something you can see you have a direct impact on. A lot of stuff we do is planning and now we’re finally in the execution phase and you can see the impact from your planning and you can see the importance of to see the logistician side of things and have a better understanding and be well rounded as a Soldier or a leader.”
Following the port operations, the equipment was moved via line haul to Fort Stewart where the unit’s facilitated the download and transfer of the equipment back to their organization’s motorpools.
The completed operation gave all parties involved the opportunity to plan and execute a mission that the DSB routinely conducts in support of other organizations in the division and refine their operational plans for conducting transportation and movement operations.
“This helps us get our combat readiness back so we can get ready for exercises and other deployments, but at the end of the day it all comes down to readiness,” said Crews. “The more efficient we do this, the more efficient our MCT’s are for deployment and redeployment activities, the more efficient our brigade is, the more knowledgeable our UMOs are it sets the standard as the sustainment brigade because we are the standard for the division.”